Archive for March, 2011
Every good email marketer appreciates that to improve their email performance they need to test! test! test!
What time of day deployment works best for your audience? Test it!
Should your friendly “from” field reference your company’s name or a recipient’s name for better open rates? Test it!
Easy right? Wrong! Too many marketers cannibalise their testing by trying to do too much at the same time and not being thorough, giving them misleading statistics and conclusions. Realistically it is the small, incremental alterations to your emails that have a surprising influence on success. The best place to start testing your emails is to run A/B subject line split tests.
Studies show that 35% of recipients will open an email purely because of the content of the subject line; so it is critical to understand what style of subject line your recipients prefer. After all, time spent on creative testing, CTA placement, incentives etc. are irrelevant if people aren’t opening your email. Divide your contact records into three pots and send two different subject line versions to two of them. The last pot should receive the email with the subject line which had the greatest open rate.
Start with a 10/10/80 split approach.
Send subject line A to 10% of your list and send subject line B to a different 10% of your list.
Based on what metrics are most important to you (unique open % as a standard) send whichever e-mail performed the best to the remaining 80%.
After tracking your results in this method you should be able to tell exactly what works and what doesn’t within your subject lines. This style of behavioural testing (measuring what people actually did) provides much better intelligence than surveying people about what they would do. The benefit here is that you can apply the results immediately and optimise your campaigns on a real-time basis. The cost of execution is minimal, especially relative to the potential results that can be achieved by better understanding what works best with your own target audience and is by far the best place to start in your testing process.